Hierro: It Was Hard Against Iran, Spain Happy To Win

Heather Diaz
June 21, 2018

Iran, though, did not lie down as other teams have done in this World Cup, instead laying into Spain with everything they had.

Saeid Ezatolahi defends against Diego Costa during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group B match at Kazan Arena on June 20, 2018 in Kazan, Russia.

Spain coach Fernando Hierro has warned his players to take nothing for granted despite a 1-0 win over Iran which puts them on the brink of qualifying for the World Cup knockout stages.

78th minute, THROUGH PASS: Collects the ball with plenty of space down the left and finds Costa with a delicious ball around the corner of the Iran defence.

Diego Costa was involved in bust-ups with Iran's players.

55' - GOAL! Iran 0-1 Spain (Costa) Silva drives at the Iran defence and feeds Costa who, back to goal, swivels with the ball as Ramin comes in, deflects the ball back against Costa and the ball shoots past Beiranvand!

They must now go on to beat Portugal in their final game to be in with a chance of progressing from Group B. "We were happier after the match against Portugal, but we only had one point". The Iranians are doing everything they could to save themselves from conceding.

The underdogs celebrated jubilantly for many minutes, only for VAR to correctly rule the goal out for offside.

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54th minute, INVOLVED IN GOAL: For all Spain's tiki-taka football, the nature of the opener was ugly as Silva fed Iniesta with a throughball and Costa's deflected effort found the net.

The result left Spain joint top of their group with Portugal on four points, with Iran close behind on three going into the third and final set of games.

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Spain certainly are suffering - it has been a near-constant state since those troubled days directly before the tournament - and the question is how quickly they can be made to feel better.

Spain enjoyed more than 75 percent of the possession but were unable to break down a six-man Iranian back-line.

Indeed, despite having the worse season in Madrid this past term, Asension looked to be what was needed more so on the night, a more direct runner of the ball with a better eye for goal. With that in mind, an opening draw against Portugal and now a win against Iran would have been considered ideal.

"What game were you watching", Costa replied.

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